Car Insurance Co. Reports Findings on Teen Driving Practices

Teenage girl getting ready to drive

A study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that nearly 50 percent of parents said there was some aspect of their teens’ driving habits that made them feel uncomfortable, even after a year of being in the learner’s stage.

The report from the auto insurance provider shed further light on the parent and teen motorist relationship. The amount of time teens spend in driving varies considerably, from twenty minutes to nearly five hours a week. But the study showed that, for supervised driving, teens get in an average of an hour and a half a week.

AAA Foundation’s president and CEO, Peter Kissinger, says the research shows parents can play a crucial role in developing their teen’s driving habits.

“Until now, there’s been almost no scientific research on what parents actually do while supervising their teens’ driving,” says Kissinger. “This study reinforces that parents are ideally positioned to assess their teen’s early driving ability and provide invaluable training and guidance during this critical time.”

Even though spending extra time on the road may be beneficial, teens don’t get exposed to all the different driving conditions they potentially face by driving the same route.

This can be problematic, according to a University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center senior research associate, Arthur Goodwin. He notes that it’s important for teens to gain experience and guidance driving in different types of scenarios.

“Humans learn complex tasks like driving more from direct experience than by being told what to do,” says Goodwin. “Parents should ask themselves: Do I want my teen to learn how to handle bad weather, darkness, rush hour traffic or narrow rural roads without me in the car?”

Getting a teen driver ready for adverse driving conditions can not only help them stay safe but also keep them from ending up in the high risk car insurance pool.

A survey of teen drivers recently released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicated that parents strongly support graduated licensing standards that require a higher number of supervised driving ours and restrict teens from nighttime driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident than other population segments, pointing to a lack of experience and maturity as main reasons. By supervising teen drivers in a variety of situations, teens may be better able to react when they take on those situations alone.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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